Adult HIV prevalence on the decline in the country: NACO report

Aarti Dhar

HIV prevalence has declined to 0.29% in 2008

Stabilisation in four high-prevalence States seen

Source: The Hindu

NEW DELHI: The estimated adult HIV prevalence in the country has declined from 0.45 per cent in 2002 to 0.29 per cent in 2008, the latest official data has shown.

Similarly, the estimated number of people living with HIV also declined from 2.73 million to 2.27 million over the same period. However, there is a significant variation in the trends with the data showing that the HIV epidemic has stabilised in the four high-prevalence States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

In a report by the National AIDS Control Programme (NACO) on its “Response to the HIV Epidemic in India,” it was suggested that an overall decline in HIV prevalence among ante-natal care (ANC) clinic attendees had been noted at all-India level and in the high prevalence States of south and northeast. Barring Andhra Pradesh with a HIV prevalence of one per cent, all States had shown less than one per cent median among the ANC clinic attendees.

Among female sex workers, there was a decline in southern States, reflecting the impact of interventions, while rising trends were evident in the northeast which suggested the dual nature of the epidemic. Expanded surveillance of men having sex with men has revealed more than five per cent HIV prevalence in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Goa, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the report says.

The trend among injecting drug users (IDUs) is on the decline in Manipur, Nagaland and Chennai, while it is rising in Meghalaya, Mizoram, West Bengal, Mumbai, Kerala and Delhi.

Among the IDUs, the HIV prevalence rate is more than five per cent in Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chandigarh, Kerala, West Bengal, Mizoram and Orissa.

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